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Executive Session

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August 25, 2009, 17:18
John Dodson
Executive Session
In our ongoing process to construct a new jail we have put bids for a construction manager at risk. My judge has asked me if we can interview construction manager at risk candidates in executive session. I don't see where we can do it. He was told that he could. Any thoughts, experiences.

[This message was edited by John Dodson on 08-25-09 at .]
August 26, 2009, 08:45
Scott Brumley
When I'm told something like this, I usually ask two questions:

1. Who told you that?
2. What legal authority is he/she relying upon?

Generally, neither question gets answered.

The only three closed meeting provisions that might touch on your issue don't apply when you look carefully at them. Section 551.072 allows deliberation regarding the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property if deliberation in open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the county's bargaining position. But it sounds to me as though the county already has the property in its pocket; the issue is who is going to run the construction project.

There is a provision (section 551.0725) that allows the commissioners court, by unanimous vote affirming deliberation in open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the county's bargaining position, coupled with the a written determination from the county's attorney, to deliberate "business and financial issues relating to a contract being negotiated". But that provision only applies to counties with a population of 400,000 or more. And, since the CMAR will be a contractor, not a public officer or employee, section 551.074 (personnel matters) wouldn't apply, either.
August 26, 2009, 09:15
John Dodson
I actually got answers to those questions. #1 from the architect; #2 Gov't. Code 551.087, deliberations regarding economic development negotiations. I was just checking here to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Open meeting it shall be. Thanks for your reply. Hope everything is well in Potter County.